To understand and appreciate Matthew Ryan’s music, you have to be a little lucky, at least that’s what I’ve come to believe. If you’re introduced to his catalog via the “wrong” song or album, you might not make it past the first minute or so. You might be scared off by his voice. You might just give up.
And Matthew Ryan could have given up on Monday night in St. Louis. The turnout wasn’t as he (or I) had hoped, and a lesser performer would have sped through a few songs while his or her touring vehicle kept warm in the parking lot.
But that’s not Matthew Ryan.
He took requests. He walked around the audience while he played said requests (without any amplification). He performed most of his newest album, Dear Lover. He hung out after the show and chatted with the people who chose to come and see him play.
Ryan’s a believer, you see. I’ve met a few musicians, but none quite like him. I’m sort of at a loss for words here, but he’s a real person. And rather than go through a play-by-play of the concert, below you will find a video I took of “Your Museum,” the show closer, which is also one of my favorites off of Dear Lover. Its words, which I’ll leave you with, sum up the whole Matthew Ryan experience for me:
Maybe once, In a hundred million years
Has there been one like you my dear
So bright, so pure, so clear
The torch that lights my way
The sky is as bright tonight as my eyes
The darkest parts are behind me now and soon the sun will rise, the sun will rise